John Paul Jones Arena Project Gets Underway
Arena Executive Committee
Virginia Athletics Foundation Board of Trustees
Virginia Athletics Foundation Board of Trustees
For years, fans, athletes, and coaches of the University of Virginia men’s and women’s basketball programs have dreamed of a new home court. Their dream is about to come true.
At the end of March, private gifts toward a new $129.8 million arena and special events center had reached $75 million, the amount needed for construction to proceed.
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No time was wasted. On April 14, early site work began on the property earmarked for the arena. The property is presently a parking lot located on Massie Road across from University Hall, the current basketball arena built in 1965.
Following the official groundbreaking for the new arena on May 30, full-scale construction is scheduled to begin August 1. When completed in summer 2006, John Paul Jones Arena will replace University Hall, the smallest basketball arena in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the most out-of-date facility still used for intercollegiate competition at U.Va.
John Paul Jones Arena Quick Facts
For the fans:
For the teams:
About the building:
For more information, contact the Virginia Athletics Foundation
The new 15,000-seat arena will feature everything needed to support a top intercollegiate basketball program. Amenities will include training and weight rooms, men’s and women’s locker rooms, coaches’ offices, and one-and-a-half practice courts per program so that the men’s and women’s basketball teams can practice simultaneously, as well as when the arena is being used for other purposes. Even better, by strengthening the basketball program, the University will strengthen all athletics programs at Virginia. The revenue generated by basketball benefits each of the U.Va.’s 25 varsity athletics programs.
Fans also will benefit from improved seating that will provide better sight lines and position fans, especially students, closer to the court. A club lounge, 20 suites, parking for 1,500 vehicles, and a road connecting the arena directly to the Route 250 Bypass also are planned.
More than a sports complex, the arena will become a place to forge connections—both within the University community, and members of the Charlottesville/Albemarle community, according to U.Va. Athletics Director Craig K. Littlepage. For example, when not being used for home basketball games, the attractive Jeffersonian-inspired arena will serve as a special events center, providing a venue for concerts, cultural events, conventions, graduations, convocations, and other large gatherings.
All of this has been made possible through the generosity of Paul Tudor Jones II (College ’76), William H. Goodwin, Jr. (Darden ’66), and other major donors to the arena project, who “are providing an invaluable asset to our students, our faculty, the University, and citizens of this region,” Littlepage said.
At the end of the day, “it doesn’t make a difference if you’re a player or a fan,” said Jones, whose advocacy of the project was supported by two pledges totaling $35 million. “Athletic activity and competition are absolutely essential for everyone’s health and mental well-being... University students deserve a better arena. It’s long overdue.”
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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